Field Report, Saturday, May 20, 2017

By Rick Bass

Weather Report: Sunny and warm, with spring showers.

Mood: Upbeat, pre-Bernie; post-Bernie, pitchfork-waving sleeves-rolled-up no more Billionaires’ Club, get out the vote-ish

We take Out Stand is in the world — in Sunday morning papers, and, yesterday, in the hands of nearly 4000 strong and faithful in Missoula to hear Rob Quist and Bernie Sanders. (Thanks, Betsy, for driving copies down from the Flathead!) Last night I dreamed of this utterance, repeated thousands of times — “Would you like an anthology?”

At the rally, Rob Quist spoke first and foremost of his support for our public lands. And Bernie was, of course, thunderous. He laid out the math: the Trump administration and his Republican Party’s repeal of health insurance will take 24 million people off insurance, including 70,000 Montanans. (A show of hands in the Adams Center, when Rob Quist asked — “How many of you have, or have family members with, pre-existing conditions? Every hand was raised).

Bernie spoke of proposed tax cuts on estate transfers — a $300 BILLION subsidy. The richest family in America, he said, the Walton Family would receive $80 billion of that 300. The Koch Brothers, a paltry $30 billion. Donald Trump himself would only reap $4 billion from passage of that legislation.

What has happened to our country? Where did it go, while we were looking away?

We are not looking away.

After the event, we went and combed the Adams Center for discards. We found only two, from the thousands we’d handed out, one by one. Thank you writers. Thank you, Brian Schott and Seabring Davis. Thank you, newspaper tabloid designer Ginger Lynch, and photographers Tom Murphy and Stephen Gnam. Thank you.

That night, Martha Scanlan and Jon Neufeld (with special guests Bethany Joyce and Nate Hegyi of Ovando).

A perfect day. What emotion is finer than hope?